A councilor recently nominated me for Gardiner’s Orton Grant committee. I’m flattered, but I believe charting Gardiner’s future should be left to those under 40. I’m turning 64 this month — waaaaay too old to suffer committees.

Rather, with what little time I have left, I’m volunteering for the local church’s “St. Francis of Assisi Pet Pantry,” announced recently. The Rev. George Lambert and parishioner Syndi Holmes are onto something worthy, compassionate and beneficial.

This appeals to me far more than blessing motorcycles. I’ve understood that this annual bikefest was established as a memorial. That’s a good thing.

Would it not be embellished, however, by also remembering living creatures suffering from the effects of starvation and/or abandonment — instead of sprinkling holy water on inanimate objects?

Animals are God’s creatures. Motorcycles are man’s creatures.

I believe it’s worthwhile to periodically examine “annual” programs and events, perhaps fix what ain’t really broke but could work better, with more profound results.

What if the motorcycle blessing were re-tooled to become the “Ride for Rover” or “Hogs for Dogs,” where pet food was collected, not unlike Toys for Tots? Bring a couple of cans or bags of dog (or cat) food instead of a toy.

When I hear the Toys for Tots motorcycles roaring through town, I don’t think about the noise. I think about the toys. And man, those are heartwarming images.

If it were possible — even for God — to look down with pride on anything today, wouldn’t children and animals be on the short list? Surely he’s good with Lambert and Holmes, too.

Buddy Doyle


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